The Four Stages of Team Building Build a Successful Team

Ask for feedback, and make sure they know it’s valued (even if it’s hard to hear). Address issues and conflict immediately and directly , and encourage your team to do the same. In this situation, it is often best to intentionally shake your team up and move them back into the Storming stage.

team building phases

Keep the stages of team development in mind as you guide your team from Forming to Performing. This stage follows Norming and occurs only after effective standards are in place and firmly embraced by the team. The team begins performing as a cohesive unit that respects and trusts each other. They know what to expect from each other and this yields a sense of comfort, confidence and consistency.

Employees can post musings, memes, personal or professional victories, or any other topic that might constitute breakroom chit chat in a more traditional office setting. This exercise is one example of a virtual team building method for establishing connection and increasing camaraderie in a remote office environment. Casual conversations are a powerful tool for boosting camaraderie and one method of forming trusting teams.


Many teams take two figurative steps forward only to realize they’ve taken a step back down the line, so there’s no reason to panic if your group returns to a previous stage of team development. Many team members are more productive in norming as are the majority of teams. Given the increase in individual and group production, you may discover that your team needs to redistribute assignments and adjust its processes. With the work your team is doing only getting more challenging every day, those changes may create conflict and force your group to retreat back into the storming phase. By the time a team reaches this phase, people in the group have developed sound decision-making skills that are in keeping with the ground rules the team has now firmly established. Workers in this stage are no longer hesitant to ask their teammates for help and they’re willing to provide and receive constructive feedback from their leader as well as their peers.

  • You can always reallocate tasks and send help as necessary during projects, but establishing clear positions helps everyone set realistic expectations and stay on track.
  • While the four stages of development are typically used to describe newly-formed teams, they also apply to more established teams.
  • Here is a guide to workplace competitions and one with conflict resolution activities for teams.
  • It’s likely that throughout your career, you’ve done many activities to strengthen your team and thought about forming better organizations in your career.
  • These skills are usually developed in early childhood and refined through high school.
  • Discover all templates Made to solve challenges quickly and build stronger relationships with your team.

Remote teams A simple platform that tells you how remote teams really feel, and fosters action-oriented 1-on-1 conversations. A good team leader will not only know each stage, but what exactly to facilitate for each stage so that they can reach the final stage quickly and with the best results. Whether you’ve been managing a team for years or you’re joining one as a newbie, this approach has helped me establish trust and sustain success.

IT Service Management

Agile purists prefer co-located teams, but business realities sometimes necessitatedistributingan agile team across geographies. Most agile teams possess all the required skills, but four stages of group development sometimes it’s necessary to call on specialists for specific work. Organizations are not groups of individuals working solo, but rather teams collaborating towards a shared goal.

With hard work and structured processes, it is likely to achieve its goals efficiently. At this stage, team members might question everything–role accountability, team agreements, even the Product Goal. Although this is a healthy process, the Scrum Master must ensure the team upholds the Scrum Values so that members can build trust in themselves and each other. According to Tuckman, when new teams are in the Forming stage, members can be unsure of the team’s purpose, how they fit in, and how everyone will work together. The Scrum Master’s job is to get the team through the Forming stage as quickly as possible. By understanding these phases, you’ll be able to calibrate where your team is and how to take it to the next phase.

When you know and understand people on a more personal level, you’ll manage the team more effectively. Group members are excited to get started, but aren’t super clear on what the team will be doing, how they’ll work together, or how they as an individual fit into the big picture. The software development process, especially when it comes to complex projects, suggests multiple layers of such factors as customer demands, devel… At each step, it should be remembered that at no point should a leader be focusing solely on productivity. He or she is working with people, afterall and is working to build genuine relationships. A good leader is someone who knows how to build these relationships genuinely and reap the results of productivity as a secondary reward.

And in the final phase, Performing, teams really begin to work together well, achieving an ever increasing level of peak performance. In the norming stage, team members resolve their issues and develop social harmony. Leaders have been determined, and our Leadership Suite can help them hone their skills. Fun team building activities like role playing or completing a scavenger hunt will keep the creativity flowing.

Signs your team is in the storming phase:

After the chaos of the storming phase, things start to settle down as the team moves into the Norming phase. During this phase, the Scrum team members begin to self-manage and resolve their differences and come to appreciate each other’s strengths. The Scrum Master, Product Owner and Developer roles become clearer, and Scrum Team members begin to understand how to interact with the Scrum events and artifacts. Team members might turn their attention to ensuring that they deliver a Done, usable increment more frequently.

team building phases

They’re feeling more comfortable sharing their opinions — and challenging the opinions of their fellow team members. But as their work has ramped up, they’ve bumped into inevitable challenges, delays, bottlenecks, and conflicts. The storming phase is a normal part of team development, but it can be challenging.

Mary has trained more than 1,000 people in Agile, Scrum and Kanban. She has guided the Agile transformation for organizations with more than 60 teams and has led the creation of new products from product definition through self-organization and launch. Mary is the founder of Rebel Scrum, a consulting company that helps teams transform to Agile and provides training and coaching services founded upon practical experience. Rebel Scrum has experience in large-scale agile transformations in a variety of environments including technology and business transformations. Signup for one of Rebel Scrum’s upcoming public scrum training classes or contact us to discuss private Scrum training and consulting options for your organization. Is a common understanding of all the work the Developers need to complete for each Product Backlog item before being considered part of the product increment.

What are the best team building methods?

Emphasize the importance of each team member’s contribution and demonstrate how all of their jobs operate together to move the entire team closer to its goal. Set an example to team members by being open with employees and sensitive to their moods and feelings. Your Employee & Labor Relations team now supports both represented and non-represented employees.

team building phases

Teamwork is seamless at this point in the team development process. Now, employees are willing to step out of their comfort zones and take on new responsibilities as needed to push the team forward. Employees continue to pick up new skills and advance their knowledge while they celebrate their newfound team success. To navigate a team through the tumultuous waters of the storming stage, conflict resolution is key. If you don’t resolve differences during this challenging stage, they will plague your team’s progress as your group attempts to move onto the next phases of the team development process.

Adjourning Stage

Individual team members are pulling you aside to complain about the work, the project, and their co-workers. Things aren’t getting done — and every day, it seems like the team is more frustrated and less engaged. People work differently; they have different work styles, different ways of collaborating, and different ideas about the way things should (or shouldn’t) be done. It takes time for teams to get on the same page about how to work well together.

What Are The Four Stages of Team Building?

Understanding the team building stages helps a leader guide groups through the team development process. This is the stage at which teams address how they will function as a team, including issues of leadership. The potential for conflict at this stage, especially over issues of leadership mean it is essential that team’s establish good relationships and trust during the forming stage of team building. Ensure roles and responsibilities are clear to reduce the risk of employees getting frustrated by the lack progress. The adjourning or mourning stage of team development is where the group parts ways. The project has reached its natural end, and group members acknowledge that while the group has found success, it is time for the team to split and move on to new challenges.

Charity Team Building Events – Benefit your Company, your Staff and the Community

Facilitating communication does not mean holding meetings all the time. Here are answers to common questions about the team building process. It also helps to make observations and take notes at the beginning of the team building process so that you can compare your group’s present dynamic to past behavior. You can also play collaboration-centric team building games like scavenger hunts, escape rooms, and improv games.

Tuckman’s Four Stages of Group Development

If you delay making improvements, then your team may lose momentum. The sooner you revamp your approach, the sooner your team can flourish. Feel free to return to any of the previous steps as many times as necessary. When choosing your teammates, you should analyze your current team makeup and identify any gaps. Consider what you want your team to achieve and which abilities will help the team reach those goals. The team has more than a dozen impact players, mostly on defense, set to test the market.

The most important thing is to be patient, teams might go back and forth between stages so be understanding of this. In terms of teamwork, interpersonal relationships are just as important as responsibilities. Social ties motivate folks to put forth maximum effort; nobody wants to let down the team.

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